NY Richmond Co.: Mere possession of a cell phone while committing an assault isn’t PC for the phone

Defendant’s possession of a cell phone at the time of his allegedly committing an assault was not probable cause to search the phone. Motion to suppress granted as to it. People v. Vergara, 2023 NY Slip Op 23083, 2023 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1303, 2023 NYLJ LEXIS 860 (Richmond Co. Mar. 22, 2023):

The search warrant application at issue before this Court is similarly devoid of any factual allegations linking the cell phone, presumably in defendant’s possession at the time of his arrest, to the charged crime. The warrant application does not allege that defendant used the cell phone at all during, or in close temporal proximity to, the charged crime. Nor does it even state that defendant had the phone in his possession at the time of the commission of the assault. There is absolutely nothing in the warrant application linking the cell phone to the commission of the crime; thus, the People have not satisfied the required element of probable cause to believe evidence of the crime will be found in the location to be searched.

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